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Student organizations prepare for spring conferences

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Student organizations prepare for spring conferences

Mizzou Engineering’s chapters of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers will each host a regional conference for their organizations. IIE Chapter President Luke Burns (left) and ASME Committee Chair Annemarie Hoyer are both planning a mix of social activities and speakers. The IIE conference will be held the first weekend in March, while the ASME conference will be held the last weekend in March. Left photo by Jennifer Hollis, Mizzou Engineering; Right Photo by Shane Epping, Mizzou Wire

The University of Missouri College of Engineering will be hustling and bustling with activity before and after spring break when two of Mizzou Engineering’s student groups will host student conferences for peer groups from other colleges in March.

Several students, as well as members of academia and industry, from MU and colleges and universities from neighboring cities and states will convene regionally for conferences for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). The groups’ respective university chapters of their national organizations will host their conferences.


The ASME Student Professional Development Conference (SPDC) for District C will be held March 29 to 31. This conference will feature three competitions: an oral presentation, a poster/web design contest and the Student Design Challenge.

“ASME does a leadership seminar in the fall and a competition conference in the spring,” said Annemarie Hoyer, committee chairperson for the Mizzou student chapter of ASME.

In addition to the competitions, where participants may earn monetary prizes and a chance to compete on the national level, the conference is a forum that helps engineering students prepare for the workforce. It trains students nearing graduation and provides them with networking opportunities.

Because of space considerations, Hoyer said activities will be held in the Bond Life Sciences Center. The three-day conference includes a full day of competition, with registration and various social activities planned also.

Conferences, held annually, one per district, are designed to also introduce students to ASME. At this conference, visitors from the academia and industrial sectors will come by campus, some as judges. This will be part of the professional development aspect.

“Networking is a huge thing in this conference,” Hoyer said, adding that she plans on setting up career-oriented workshops for people to attend during the conference.

Alumni from a mechanical engineering-related field interested in judging the competition may contact Hoyer via email at ahoyer@mail.missouri.edu.


The South Central Institute of Industrial Engineering (IIE) Regional Conference will be held March 2 to 3. Mizzou’s chapter of IIE will host the conference, which will include other universities’ IIE chapters from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.

This is the first time this event will be held at Mizzou.

“We’re hoping to get 100 people to attend the conference,” said Mizzou IIE chapter president Luke Burns, adding that he expects the visitors to be made up of students and faculty from other schools.

Themed, “The Faces of IIE,” sponsors from the event include Leggett & Platt, Preco, Inc., Don Flora & Associates, GKN Aerospace and John Doering.

Burns said IIE event organizers approached representatives from Mizzou’s student chapter to ask if the school would be willing to host the 2012 conference. After getting the OK, Burns said club committee members got to work organizing the conference.

“[IIE event organizers] gave us guidelines on what to include in the conference,” Burns said. “It’s a good opportunity to show others what is available at our school.”

While Burns was the only returning executive member of Mizzou IIE this year, he said he and other committee members prepared by attending the most recent conference.

“I was part of the organizing committee last year, as treasurer,” he said. “We went to the conference at Oklahoma State University last year to see what it was like.”

The first day is filled with social and icebreaking activities that will allow conference visitors and hosts to get to know each other. Multiple speakers will address visitors throughout the second day. The speakers’ backgrounds will include three primary aspects of the conference: healthcare, manufacturing/ business and finance/logistics.

There will also be a technical paper competition, where students from different schools will compete for first, second and third place cash prizes, as well as a chance to advance to the national level of competition. The first-prize winner will receive $600 at the regional level will be announced at a banquet dinner that ends the conference. The second and third place recipients will earn $400 and $200, respectively.

An event website, Engineers.missouri.edu/iie-conference/, will launch in early November.

About the groups

ASME is a national society for mechanical engineers that includes student, academic and professional members. The group strives to teach and share knowledge, as well as promote collaborations, which will lead to solutions to individual and community issues. The 131-year-old organization has more than 120,000 members in more than 150 countries.

The SPDC aims to provide a platform for students to grow academically and professionally. It serves as a place to train future leaders in engineering industry and academia.

The IIE seeks to promote its industry through networking and sharing knowledge, and training. It supports those in the professions encompassed by industrial engineering.

The 63-year-old organization was founded as the American Institute for Industrial Engineers. The name was shortened in 1981 to better reflect the number of international relationships and memberships within the organization.

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